Contributed by Joe Montero
In a major speech in Sydney at the launch of a new book by James Allen, Making Australia Right, dumped former prime minister Tony Abbott was at it again yesterday,
staking his claim for a return. He didn’t say this in so many words.
Tony Abbott, pointed out that the government led by Malcolm Turnbull is failing and that there is a battle for “the soul of the modern Liberal Party”. These are fighting words.
The former leader noted that almost 40 percent of Australians did not vote for either of the two major parties at the last election. He took it further and put forward his plan to whack Labor and draw back defectors to One Nation.
“In short, why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET [renewable energy target] to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the Human Rights Commission to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending to end ripping off our grandkids; and we’ll reform the Senate to have government, not gridlock?”
This is what has been dubbed as the Abbott Five Point Plan, designed to remake the Liberal Party in the image of the worst side of One Nation.
But this is not just about Tony Abbott. He is a poster boy for forces that want to transform the Australian political landscape for the worse. What defines these forces, is their claim that Australia is being hurt by bleeding heart liberalism, the pampering of bludgers with welfare, the greenie assault on business opportunities, all that all this is being led by a “leftist” and privileged “elite” .
To these forces, the answer is stern government that will deal with enemies, backed by its troops on the ground, fighting off the Islamic invasion.
The Rupert Murdochs and Gina Rineharts of this world, have committed their support and money to nurture the cause and lead it, for the purpose of defending their own enormous wealth and privileges. Pulling the strings, they work for the application of the old divide and rule method.
They are the real élite and they are terrified that growing dissatisfaction within the population may turn to bite them. This and the greed to build their own empires at any cost is what motivates them.
Tony Abbott is their toy. Without them he can go nowhere and Abbott knows this. He works hard to position himself to be in their service. What he says must be taken in this context
Abbott’s Five Point Plan spells out a disaster.
Scrapping the renewable energy target will undercut Australia’s promise to contribute to lower emissions. It will also work to lock Australia’s economy into backwardness, inefficiency and lack of competitiveness, as the rest of the world moves into a new technological era.
Saying that a renewable target is causing the high rise in electricity prices is a lie. New technologies are now comparatively cheaper and more efficient than reliance on fossil fuel power generation. High electricity prices have been driven by the operation of a government national distribution regime that have solidified a cartel and given it the capacity to charge much higher prices than would otherwise have been possible. The cartel is laughing all the way to the bank and nothing is being done about it. Abbott ignores this altogether.
The only sense it makes is that the expansion of the fossil fuel industry will fill the bank accounts of the mining companies and their owners.
Scrapping of the Human Rights Commission has nothing to do with free speech, as claimed by those who are calling for it. As it is, the Commission provides limited protection for the powerless from abuse. Its removal will leave these people more vulnerable. On top of this, it will benefit those who want to build a political movement to redirect anger to hate towards targeted minorities. When people find, they are becoming worse off economically and see their future curtailed, systematic encouragement to turn anger towards the innocent is a very dangerous development. Abbott works to feed it.
It is not immigrants who are causing the astronomical cost of housing. It is the turning of housing into a speculative industry for the wealthy, backed by generous negative gearing provisions and the large-scale cutback in government provided housing. By blaming immigrants, Abbott pretends to offer a solution by setting up a straw man, as a scapegoat to turn attention away from the real problem.
Slashing of government spending means hacking into our schools, hospitals and welfare system, so that education health and welfare can be redirected to those who, can afford to pay the price and have the clout to be awarded corporate welfare.
The slashing of government spending makes no economic sense. It certainly does help the corporations with connections and those associated with them. At the same time, looking after sectional interests undermines the foundations of the economy as a whole. The provision of education is what trains our workforce. Health services keeps the workforce fit to work. Welfare provides the best opportunity for those without work, for whatever reason, to remain a valuable contributor to society and the economy. Do away with these things and the economy is weakened.
It is a lie to say that too much spending by government is undermining the future of our kids. It is the growth of the top end tax evasion and corporate welfare industries that are causing a revenue shortfall and undermining the future of our kids. The real intention of the cuts is not to reduce government expenditure, but to re-direct it upwards.
We have already had a long period of ongoing cuts and privatisations. Not for one minute, has this solved the so-called budget crisis or led to economic prosperity. It is the smoking gun that reveals the lie. Pushing on regardless, Abbott and those behind them want to take this much further.
To back up the proposed “reforms,” Abbott wants to muzzle the Senate through legislative change that will prevent it from stopping government legislation. The truth is that with proportional representation, the Senate makeup is closer to the wishes of voters than the House of Representatives, whose members are often elected through undemocratic preference deals and electorate gerrymandering.
The Senate is far from perfect, but it at least does give voice to more widespread opinion. The reform of the Senate is about silencing this opinion.
This brings us to the point that its authors cannot be broadcast too loudly at present. The agenda includes a shift towards more authoritarian government and the deliberate curtailment of rights fought for by those who came before us and have for long been taken for granted. The rational is that the intended changes will generate opposition and that they must be implemented through compulsion.
This is where the setting up of scapegoats becomes a very useful tool. Blame an enemy and basic human rights can be violated. We have already seen this with refugees. Verbal and physical assaults on Muslims are on the rise. Unionists are being branded as a threat that need to be dealt with. Who is going to be next?